Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Reformation and Egocentrism

One of Southern Catholic College's catch-phrases is "Are you bold enough to change the world?" I believe that it actually is "ARE YOU BOLD ENOUGH To CHANGE THE WORLD?" Reflecting upon the major world changing figures in history, even those in our lifetime, however, causes me to wonder: do they really want us to be bold?

I have absolutely no doubt that the school, in choosing a motto, thought of nothing but the positive connotations of the word "bold": courage and confidence. These are good qualities to have. But, as we discussed in Philosophy 101 last year, courage that is not controlled by the intellect and the will becomes rashness, not an admirable quality at all. Confidence without humility becomes pride, and a pride so inflamed that one can disregard the good of others and the good of society, the good of the world because of his own ideas, whether those ideas are true or not.

Take a look at some of the great reformists thoughout history: St. Patrick, St. Catherine of Siena, Niccolo Machievelli, King Henry VIII, Martin Luther, Leo XIII, Ghandi, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Mao Tse- Tung, Mother Teresa, John Paul II, Saddam Hussien, the list goes on. All of these people were bold. The difference is that some were humble.

Boldness without humility is worth nothing. Nothing will be done for the right reasons. No good can come out boldness that's not tempered by humility. I think that, second to musicians/performers, reformers may be the most inclined to have inflated egos, because once you take on a cause, it's hard not to caught up in that cause and forget the reason for the cause; the reason becomes the cause itself and not the good that will come from that cause. That's why the oversized "you" bothers me. Changing the world is not about me. It's not about my being bold or not so bold. It's about Truth and Goodness. But in order for Truth and Goodness to triumph, they first have to get over the "me" that is in the way; in order for that to happen, there must be true humilitly.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Rant About Creepy Guys

The world is full of them. I've known this since I was 7, when I had my first encounter with one. I'd always kind of hoped that that was the only one that I would really have to deal with. I knew I would run into some every now and then, but I had really hoped that they would all just kind of ignore me and leave me alone forever.

But the creepiest individual at SCC (at least, the creepiest student of last year and the creepiest individual this year- I'm not sure that the old librarian wouldn't give you a run for your money, dear, when it comes to creepiness- he was genuinely creepy, you are creepy by effort, although it is obvious that you are beginning to need to exert less and less effort) had other plans. I now have a log, as per Father's orders, of every time he does something creepy. I bet he does, too, but just because he revels in being a creep. Now there's something I wouldn't want to read...

I really wonder what his problem is. I feel kind of sorry for him. I mean, he's a lonely, miserable, wretched human being. Something was missing from his childhood, and it kind of seems like it was love. (See, girls! Look what happens if we don't be women) He told me enough of his life story that I know that much. Of course, he also has a dead beat dad. Now I just feel sorry for him. No person shouldn't grow up with a mother's love and a father's love. That's just sad.

That said, no person should dwell on their past so much that they cannot cope with the present. Scoffs, and well deserved scoffs, may result from that statement coming out of my brain, but at least I recognize that it is true.

This has ceased to be a rant. I fail at everything. Especially writing papers for philosophy.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Impressing the World

It's a mighty sad thing when an institution that was founded to go against the the societal idea of "normal" for the sake of the Good, is found falling into that very idea of normality.

The Chapel was pretty full today. But it was not filled out of a completely voluntary self-bettering desire, it was filled because the Chancellor of the Archdiocese was here and he needed to be impressed. So the chapel was filled out of an excess of pride, rather than out of humility or even love. Is this pleasing? Is this even halfway good? It almost seems as if it would have been better if it had been filled out of obligation (if it had been made mandatory, which would still have been pride on the part of the school [unless daily Mass was always mandatory]), but it wouldn't have been pride on the part of every individual who came only because the Chancellor was here.

And it doesn't stop there...

The world and what it thinks should not be the standard, and most assuredly not the apex around which we operate. Truth should be the only thing we care about.